My favorite running pic!

My favorite running pic!
The Buffalo Creek Half

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Running is not supposed to give you more stress...

On Saturday, there is a 5K run that most of my running buddies will be attending. I have been throwing around the idea of going, but I kept coming back to no. At first, I thought it was because of the little chicken in me. I know I'm not fast, and sometimes I think, do I really want to go and show people how slow I really am? I'll NEVER medal in a 5K. NEVER. EVER. But then the competitive little girl that lives inside of me said, "well, you do want to have a sub-30 min 5K", so I thought about going. Even though, I am not sure I can break 30 min just yet, I have been working on it. I've been really pushing myself with speed workouts at the gym. Yesterday, I had a 2 mile run in 19:55. And I am faster on the road versus the treadmill for whatever reason.

But...on Saturday, both of my boys have baseball games.  One at 11 and one at 1:30.  Could I go to the race and get back in time?  Sure, but it would be pushing it and I'd feel very stressed about it.  So why do that to myself?  Running is not supposed to give you more stress.  Right?  Right.  Running is supposed to relieve your stress.  So, I have decided not to run in the 5K.  At least not the one on Saturday morning.

Yes, I'll see the pictures of everyone running and finishing, and I'll get a little jealous.  But...I will not be stressed in the morning and I will be able to make it to both games without feeling like I have major time constraints on me.  That, I think, will be more worth it.  There are plenty of other 5Ks to run throughout the summer.  This isn't the only one.

Until then, I will continue to do some speedwork.  2x a week if I can.  I will get faster.  I will have a sub 30 5K.  Not sure when, but I will.  But I'm not going to stress about it.  Because running is not supposed to give you more stress!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The athlete in me

I would typically not consider myself an athlete. I never have. Growing up, I was a chubby girl. I didn't do much as far as athletic activities. I played softball around 7th grade or so, but not seriously. Then I played volleyball in high school. I went to a volleyball camp and really learned to love the game, the problem was, I wasn't great at it. I was intimidated by it. But I played through high school. In college, I played flag football and loved it. I quarterbacked some of the time. Still I would not consider myself an athlete. I had often wanted to run. Some friends of mine invited me to go on a run with them around campus. One time around was about enough. I hated it! It was so hard and man was I out of breath and out of shape. I did play some recreational softball on a team where I worked. I loved it. Again, I wasn't great at it, but I loved it! And the last 2 years, I have played on our church softball team. The more I play, the more confident I get. And, of course, I run. As you know, I began running in January 2011 with the intention of completing a 5K. I have since run a 2K, 4 5Ks, a 10K and 2 half marathons. Who would think? I can't believe it myself. I'm not great at it. It's hard for me. I watch people who can run 7,8,9 minute miles and think holy cow...I'll never do that! But I run and I give it my all. My husband, Kip, said something to me when I came home from the Pittsburgh half marathon. It was a tough, challenging run for me with the heat. But I was determined to finish. When I walked in the door, he hugged me and said "don't ever say you're not an athlete again". He told me that what I did today was truly athletic and that I was an athlete. athlete! Can you believe it? Those words from him touched me and I will never forget them or the way he said it. I do have an athlete in me. I just have to work a little harder to see it. But it's there. I'm an athlete!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Pittsburgh half

Well, I had hoped to come in around 2:15 at the Pittsburgh half since that first half marathon I ran 5 weeks ago, was 2:20. That was not to be! Let me tell you all about it. We arrived in plenty of time and made our way to the corral. My friend, Joanne, didn't want me to run alone, so we were planning on running together. I was a little worried about this because Joanne is much faster than me, but we trained together and she insisted. I was happy to have a friend by my side. I should mention that it was in the low 60s when we started and the sun was bright with no cloud cover around. And the race begins! The first mile, we went out too fast. Or at least I did! A 9:45 mile. That's too fast for me. We slowed down a bit. Our next miles were 10:53, 10:39 and 10:18 respectively. Then it all went downhill. I started feeling really, really nauseous about mile 4 1/2 or so. We stopped to walk for about 2 minutes to see if that would help and then we started running again. About mile 5, I told Joanne to just go on without me. Her race shouldn't be hindered because I was sick. From then on, I would have no idea about pace as Joanne had the garmin. I don't own one. I tried to slow down and walk when needed. About the 10K mark, I thought I would have to pack it in. An additional 7 miles seemed so daunting to me when I felt so bad. But I just kept going. I met up with a man who was running the relay. I talked with him about the heat and asked if he wanted to switch places, he could do the half, I could do the relay. He just laughed and said I had a great pace. At mile 7, I really had the first positive thought pop in my head. I was over half way there! At every fluid station, I poured water down my neck and back to try to cool me off. And I filled up my water bottle 3 times. At my walk breaks, I always managed to talk to someone else walking. Runners are always so nice. I really thought I was past mile 10 when I hit the 15K mark, so that disappointed me a little. Plus, now I had the chills. Got onto the Birmingham bridge and talked to a nice young lady who was running her first half. I cheered her on! OK...mile 11, only 2 more miles to go! I would make matter what! I wanted that medal! Right before mile 12, I walked along side an older gentleman. We talked about the heat and I told him about my race so far and how I felt. He immediately told me that I needed to drink gatorade and not water. He said I needed the electrolytes. (I hadn't grabbed gatorade at the fluid stations because I didn't train with it and didn't know how it would affect my stomach) Luckily, a fluid station was coming up and he walked over with me to grab gatorade. I drank it and then grabbed water to pour down my back. Turned and there he was with another cup of gatorade. He walked and ran with me a bit and then I told him I was going to go. He had injured knees so wasn't able to run all that much. He told me to be careful and stop if I felt nauseous again. I thanked him several times. He was so nice to me! Luckily the last mile is downhill...thank goodness! Started running and could see the finish line. I would make it. I kept telling myself if I could get across the finish line, I could go to the medical tent. Crossed the line, got the medal, blanket, food and went and sat down...I did it! What a challenge! I ate and felt a little better, called Joanne and met up with her. She did great 2:12...I feel badly I held her up at the beginning. Me, I did better than I thought. With all of the walking (and I had to walk quite a bit so I wouldn't collapse), my time was 2:28:15. Holy cow! I thought I would be close to 3 hours. I was proud of myself for pushing through and having the will and determination to finish. It was by far one of the hardest things I ever had to do. But I did it! I called my husband and broke down a bit. He and the kids were so proud of me! During the race, I was thinking that I never wanted to do it again. But I do. I'm not going to stop. I'm just going to take this race as a learning experience. I didn't adjust for the sun and warmth and I needed to. Almost all, if not all, of our long runs, were in cold temperatures. The warmest was 50 degrees and I think that run was 8 miles. I learned my lesson and can move on. Thanks to everyone who supported me. Thanks to Joanne for sticking with me until I told her to go. What an adventure! I look forward to many more!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Finally...back to blogging!

So, finally our computer is repaired and I can blog once more. So sorry it has been so long. It seems like my last post was forever ago. Tomorrow is the Pittsburgh half marathon. It's the race that I have been yearning to run! The race my friends have talked about, all around the city, the race with people cheering you on everywhere...oh, I can't wait! So excited, but every once in a while, I get this "oh my gosh" nervous feeling. It comes out of nowhere. Last Saturday was our last long run. It was one of my worst! Ughhh...I think it was more mental than physical. I got up thinking I did not want to run. I think my body is just fatigued. I hope it doesn't feel that way tomorrow. I really was struggling on that last long run. Our time was bad, I felt get the idea. Tomorrow, however, everything I trained for is coming together. Joanne, her sister and I are headed to the expo here in a couple of hours. We will pick up our packets, maybe buy a couple of things and just have a good time! Tomorrow, the race starts at 7:30. What does that mean? It means we will be getting up very, very early to make it down there with time to spare so we are not freaking out! Joanne or possibly her sister will be driving, so luckily I do not need to worry about driving tomorrow. I just need to worry about waking up on time. Funny, but I don't think that will be a problem. I'm thinking I'll be up half the night with nerves anyway. Everything is ready to go. My outfit is picked, including socks. My ipod is charged. I have my gu chomps and water bottle together. I think I am ready to go! I will give you all of the details of the race tomorrow. Until then...pray for me! :)